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Hazardous Household Waste


The Northern Plains Regional Landfill, owned and operated by the City of Spencer, operates a Household Hazardous Waste Regional Collection Center.  The Collection Center is located at the City of Spencer Solid Waste Transfer Station at 3101 West 18th Street.

The Collection Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - Noon.  Residents of the Northern Plains Comprehensive Planning Area may drop off hazardous waste items FREE of charge during these hours.  Appointments are required and can be scheduled by contacting the Collection Center.

What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?

An HHW is a product that is toxic, corrosive, flammable or reactive.  Products that are hazardous usually have labels with the words DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION.  Other key phrases to look for are the following:

  •      "Harmful or Fatal if swallowed."
  •      "Do not use near heat or flame."
  •      "Causes severe burns on contact."

What types of HHW's are accepted at the facility?

  • Automotive products - Most liquids automotive products are hazardous and should never be poured down drains, on the ground or placed in the trash.  These products include antifreeze, brake fluid, cleaners, degreasers, fuels, lead-acid batteries, oil, oil filters, waxes and windshield washer fluid.
  • Batteries - Rechargeable batteries such as Ni-Cad, Ni-Mh, Lithium and automotive batteries are not safe to put in the landfill.  Remember: If it's RECHARGEABLE, it's RECYCLABLE!
  • Cleaning Products - These include polishes, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, rug/upholstery cleaners, stain removers, etc.
  • Cooking Oil - Though not hazardous, landfill do not accept liquids and these substances are harmful to drains. Cooking oils such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, etc. can now be brought to the RCC for recycling.
  • Fluorescent bulbs/compact fluorescent bulbs - These contain mercury vapor and should be handled with care.
  • Mercury containing devices - such as fever thermometers, thermostats, mercury switches.
  • Pesticides (bug and weed killers) - The best way to dispose of a small amount of these products is to use it.  DO NOT use banned pesticides; instead, bring them to the RCC for proper disposal.  Some examples of banned pesticides are:
    • Aldrin
    • Chlordane
    • DDT
    • Dieldrin
    • Dursban
    • Silvex
    • 2,4,5-T
  • Propane Cylinders - Small propane cylinders are accepted.  Cylinders larger than 20 pound size are accepted on a case-bycase basis.
  • Solvents - such as paint stripper and paint thinner.
  • Waste Paint - There are two types of paints, stains and varnishes - latex and oil-based or alkyds.  Latex paints will indicate the products can be cleaned with soap and water.  Oil-based paints contain hazardous materials.  They may contain toxic metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, and the containers usually say that they are "COMBUSTIBLE!" and should be cleaned with mineral spirits or paint thinner.

More information for Residential disposal of HHW can be found in Residential HHW Brochure.  The brochure can be found in the File Downloads section on this page.

Business Hazardous Waste Program

Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator's (CESQG) are businesses that generate less than 27 gallons or 220 pounds, or 2.2 pounds of acute hazardous waste per month.  Your business also cannot store more than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste on-site at any time.  

If your business qualifies as a CESQG and are interested in disposing of your hazardous waste at the collection center, you must:

  • Register with the regional collection center as a CESQG.  Forms are available by mail, email or fax.
  • Send an inventory of the quantity of items that you wish to dispose of.  If needed, a specialist can do an on-site assessment of your inventory, for a fee.
  • Call 712-580-7277 to schedule an appointment to drop off the waste at our collection center.

State Law prohibits the Regional Collection Center from accepting hazardous waste generated by business for free.  The fees for disposal can be found in the Business HHW Brochure located int eh File Download section.

Swap Shop

Various items can be acquired from the Swap Shop at the Collection Center.  Items that are safe and in good condition, such as household cleaners, car care supplies and latex paints, are available to residents at no charge.  Due to the hazardous nature of the chemicals being accepted, the shop hours are the same as the regula RCC collection hours.  This is for the safety of our employees and visitors.  Please come by and check it out. 

Additional Information

Additional information regarding Household Hazardous waste can be found on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources webpage.